Wolverines Skate Past Spartans in CCHA Semifinals

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- Michigan has played better games overall, but its top players were at their best Friday night.
Kevin Porter scored twice to lift Michigan to a 5-2 win over Michigan State in the semifinals of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament.
Michigan (26-12-1) will play Notre Dame in the championship game on Saturday night. The winner automatically advances to the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan State (21-13-3) will play Lake Superior State in the third-place game on Saturday afternoon. A win would likely put the Spartans into the NCAA field of 16.
Notre Dame beat Lake Superior State 3-0 earlier Friday.
Hobey Baker Award candidate T.J. Hensick had a goal and two assists for Michigan. Tim Summers and Chad Kolarik also scored, Jack Johnson added two assists and Billy Sauer made 18 saves for the Wolverines.
"I thought our best players were our best players," said Michigan coach Red Berenson. "And it was a pretty good game for our team."
Jim McKenzie and Tim Crowder got Michigan State's goals and Jeff Lerg stopped 16 shots.
"Their upper level players are really, really good," Spartans coach Rick Comley said. "And they won it for them tonight."
Michigan's Summers opened the scoring 3:07 into the second period on a breakaway. Porter made it 2-0 just 1:04 later when he tipped in a pass from Hensick on a 3-on-1, and scored again with 4:13 left in the middle period for his 22nd goal. He appeared to lose control of the puck but backhanded it in.
"We had a couple of mental errors, mental mistakes that cost us three goals in the second period and one in the third," said the Spartans' Justin Abdelkader.
McKenzie put the Spartans on the board with 6:23 left in third period, but Kolarik restored the Wolverines' three-goal margin just 30 seconds later.
Crowder got his goal with 3:56 remaining.
Hensick had an empty-netter with 8 seconds to go.
After being dragged down on a short-handed breakaway by Michigan defenseman Matt Hunwick, Abdelkader was awarded a penalty shot with 7:40 left in the first period. Abdelkader tried to put it between Sauer's pads, but shot it too high.
"That penalty shot save by Billy gave us momentum," said Hensick. "And a tremendous amount of confidence in how he was playing."


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